Friday, March 18, 2011

Martin Bashir: Apologist or Jerk?

I haven't read Rob Bell's new book Love Wins yet, so I can't say anything yet about Bell's supposed heresy. But I do want to talk about this interview Martin Bashir did with Bell on MSNBC this past Tuesday:

Like most people, when I first saw this my immediate reaction was, "Oh snap, Bashir carried you, young!" (And I consider myself a Bell fan, too.) But then the more I thought about, the more I realized something just wasn't quite right.

For starters, Bashir asks Bell about God's providence: is God all-powerful but doesn't care about us, or does God care but isn't all-powerful? For a high respected journalist like Bashir, this is basically the equivalent of Barbara Walters asking Katherine Hepburn, "If you could be any tree, what would you be?" Bell tries to explain to Bashir that neither choice applies to God, but Bashir seems to want a definite either/or.

Second, I only took one journalism course in college so my knowledge might be a little rusty, but I thought journalists weren't supposed to interject their opinion. Actually, now that I think about it, Walter Cronkite spoke out against the Vietnam War, so I think in certain situations a journalist can speak his/her mind. But when Bashir outright says Bell is deliberately twisting Scripture to suit his own needs, it doesn't really give Bell enough room to defend himself. Bashir could be right, but he made the interview more like a witch trial than a real interview.

What do you think?

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